What’s your secret hobby outside the office?

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My Sister is an Entrepreneurial Development Manager and before that a Cash Management Consultant. She works really hard and devotes a huge part of her life to her career, and yet she has found the time over the years to be a pantomime director, a Kart racing lap scorer, a face painter, a youth group leader and believe it or not a dancing bear.

In the last few years we have witnessed the rise and rise of the adult colouring book and I believe it’s symptomatic of a desire amongst professionals to engage their brain in something completely unrelated to their work and find a creative outlet. Yes sports and hiking and staying active are vital to a healthy mind-set but as well as those I’ve noticed that a lot of people, when you really get to know them, have a secret hobby identity.  It’s a bit like a secret hero identity, in that it is not often talked about openly.  Among my own friends and family a really wide range of hobbies have been developed in recent years and I thought I’d share some with you.

I myself like to get creative. I think logically all day long and pride myself on it but there’s something about the feeling of just switching to automatic that comes with drawing or painting that is extremely attractive. I’m certainly no Picasso and it’s not really about the finished product, it’s the enjoyment of the process that matters.   If a blank page seems too big a challenge just colour in or paint by numbers. Some canvasses available are detailed and intricate, as you can see from the finished one above. They take hours of work, and that’s hours not spent dictating letters or planning meetings in your head!

When I was little my grandmother would knit big comfy Arron jumpers. Perhaps that sense of care and comfort is what spurred me to pick up the knitting needles myself and have a go.  It takes me about a year to finish one jumper but smaller projects can work!  My sister has been knitting a whole zoo for her friends’ kids as you can see below.  Other friends like to crochet, cross stitch or sew. There are a whole raft of “old fashioned” past times that have come back on trend.

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My mum is a legal secretary, flat out all day and yet rather than switch off her brain to relax she likes to challenge herself with killer Sudoku. Puzzles and games focus all of your attention for a defined period of time and are very rewarding (if they don’t beat you that is).

My cousin has always been the wildlife expert in the family and has taught herself photography. The skill she has developed in just a couple of years has been inspiring.  Just look at what she did recently. She now volunteers (in addition to working full time in I.T) as a photographer for WWT Castle Espie.  I know others who volunteer at animal sanctuaries and find it extremely rewarding.

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Learning a new skill can help you to be better at what you do for a living, even if it seems unrelated. The time spent really switching off means that when you switch back on you can be at your best. Here at MTB there are some fantastic bakers, you wouldn’t suspect that one of our partners makes the best fudge I’ve ever tasted!  We are all more than we seem, and all of it helps us to be fantastic lawyers. What’s your Secret Hobby Identity?

Lauren McShane